Employers in B.C. can voluntarily participate in the certificate of recognition (COR) program by registering with a certifying partner. The certifying partner will advise the registering employer on the requirements for COR certification. It's important that employers understand what is expected of them in the program's standards and guidelines.
Different industries have different certifying partners. Employers are encouraged to register with the certifying partner that aligns most closely with their industry. If there is not a suitable certifying partner for your industry, we can help you find another certifying partner through a process we call natural alignment.
Certification process overview
There are four key players in the certificate of recognition (COR) program: the employer, certifying partner, WorkSafeBC, and auditor(s). Each plays an important role at various points in the certification process. For more details about the responsibilities of each party, see the Certificate of Recognition Program Standards and Guidelines document.
The following is a general overview of the COR certification process. Note that the process may vary for each employer:
- The employer contacts the certifying partner for its industry to register in the COR program.
- If the employer doesn't have a certifying partner or doesn't know who to register with, the employer can refer to the natural alignment addendum or contact WorkSafeBC.
- Once registered, the certifying partner will provide the employer with program details and information that is needed to qualify for COR.
- The employer then develops or modifies its occupational health and safety management system so it aligns with COR program standards, with the guidance of the certifying partner.
- A qualified auditor performs an audit of the organization's health and safety management system.
- The certifying partner conducts a quality assurance review of the audit report.
- If the employer passes the audit and the certifying partner determines the audit to have met the requirements, then WorkSafeBC initiates the process of issuing a certificate.
- The certifying partner awards the employer with a certificate of recognition from WorkSafeBC.
- The employer will be considered for an incentive payment in the second quarter of the year following certification.
- COR certifications are typically valid for three years, but employers must conduct annual maintenance audits of their occupational health and safety management systems to maintain their certification.
- After three years, a re-certification audit is required to continue in the program.
Cost to participate
While we don't charge any fees to participate in the COR program, there may be costs associated with participating. Potential costs include those for required training, other related costs required by the certifying partner, the cost to perform audits, and the cost to implement and manage your organization's health and safety management system. Costs will vary based on the size and complexity of a company's operations and industry.
COR program policy, standards & guidelines
The Certificate of Recognition Program Standards and Guidelines details the criteria employers must meet to qualify for a certificate of recognition. We developed the standards and guidelines in this document, with input from a certifying partners committee, to ensure consistency across the COR program and help employers and certifying partners understand the COR process. The document also outlines the roles and responsibilities expected of all parties involved.
Together with the Certifying Partners Committee, we review and update these standards and guidelines from time to time to ensure standards remain current, appropriate, and enforceable. The latest version of the Standards and Guidelines document includes two addendums:
- Addendum to Standards 2.1 and 3.3: Natural Alignment
- Addendum to Standard 3.12: Employer Audit Quality Assurance Process
The Partners Program is governed by the framework set out in our Assessment Manual and Prevention Manual. These outline the mandate of the COR program, general information on certification, and the criteria to qualify for incentive payments.